Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ravishing Radishes

Diane Mannion, RAVISHING RADISHES, 6x6" oil
These ravishing radishes caught my eye from across the store.  Shiny, wet, and vivid red, they beckoned me to paint them.  And I wasn't allowed to eat them until I did.  So this morning they posed before being consumed, even the leaves were tasty.  My canaries especially loved the greens.
1.And while I painted them from life (direct painting), I pretended to be giving a demo for my painting class.  Using yellow ochre thinned with linseed oil (no mineral spirits were used in this painting except for cleaning brushes later)... the canvas was painted and rubbed off leaving a thin layer of color.  Just one way to overcome "fear of the white blank canvas."  2.The drawing was done with ultramarine blue and a few lines to indicate placement and rhythm.  At this point, took a break and reheated a slice of pizza for brunch (only homemade pizza, of course).  
3.Then with a second cup of coffee and a fresh look at my drawing, made a few adjustments and blocked in the radish darks.  Squinted to simplify the shapes and shadow areas.  Noticed where the darks blended into each other for lost edges.  
4.Painted the greens, darks and middle value, noting where darkest darks and brightest lights were, also warm and cool colors.  
5.Then painted the far background, making up a tone because it was just a view of my messy studio.  Made the tone darker than it actually was to help the greens and radishes stand out. 
6. Painted the white cloth napkin the radishes were sitting on using white and a touch of cad yellow for lights.  Purples and warmer neutrals for shadows.
7. Added high lights on radishes and added the roots.  Punched up a few darks in the leaves and added final touches here and there.  Softened and blended a few spots such as the background radish to increase depth.  Took about an hour to paint and FORCED myself to stop and leave it at this stage.  Rather sketchy but it's a "demo" and not a polished painting.  But it IS a painting that looks like a painting and not a photo.  (It hurts when someone tells me my painting looks like a photo!  Only an artist would understand).
8. Scratched my signature in the upper right corner with my trusty meat skewer signing stick.  (A dowel sharpened in a pencil sharpener works well.  Some people sign with the end of their paintbrush.  This could be sharpened also but take care not to stab yourself while painting with it.)
9. Placed my panel on my scanner raised on four nickels on the corners, adjusted in Photoshop, and published the jpg here.
*If you made it this far in my demo... time to get off the computer and go paint!

1 comment:

Patricia MacDonald said...

these are beautiful radishes! love the reds and highlights, and greens - all the colours and the design.